Homelessness and Happiness
On one Wednesday morning, we took a tricycle in Makati. As we were passing through a narrow street near N. Garcia and Kalayaan Ave., we bumped into a short woman struggling to rotate her big wooden cart containing her belongings. She was blocking the way so the tricycle driver stopped to help move her cart.
When the street was clear and the tricycle started to move, I saw the contents of her cart — clothes, blanket, straw sacks, pail… Oh, she had a dog — and a cat! Awww.
The dog was looking excited as if they’re off to a new adventure. The cat? She (yeah, I’m giving the cat a gender. haha) seems like she’s guarding the cart.
Then I moved my gaze to the woman. She was looking at me smiling. Our eyes met. I smiled back. What I could see were her eyes sparkling with gratefulness and innocence, even warmth. I felt a glimpse of happiness from that quick encounter.
Why do I feel like this homeless person is a happy person despite her circumstances?
The morning encounter stuck with me throughout the day. It’s already 4:38 PM as I write this and I still remember the happy feeling she gave me. I’m trying to make sense of her happiness compared to others’ happiness. Is it the effect of having pets in her life bringing a sense of belongingness? Is it the simplicity of life? Did she choose to be happy?
Okay, I’ll stop there.
Right now, I’m just happy the homeless woman is happy and hope she continues to be happy. If I bump into her again, I might say Hi and give her something in return for the happy feeling she gave me that Wednesday morning at that narrow street in Makati.